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Retailer News

Darty Returns to Profit

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Darty Returns to Profit

The 3rd biggest CE retailer in Europe makes it out of the red, as Darty reports fiscal 2015 (ending April 2015) profits worth €13.8 million, an improvement from the €6.6m loss seen on the previous year.

Operating profit is up from €53.4m in fiscal 2014 to €60.3m in fiscal 2015.

Such profits come despite sales dropping by 1.6% Y-o-Y due to what the retailer describes as "strong comparatives and challenging marketing conditions." However the fiscal year did see some help in the shape of lower one-off charges.

The retailer further cut losses by dropping loss-making Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Czech operations in favour of the core French, Belgian and Dutch markets.

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Darty Goes Flat in Fiscal Q4

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Darty Goes Flat in Fiscal Q4

Darty announces virtually flat fiscal Q4 (from 1 February 2015 to 30 April 2015) sales with a -0.5% Y-o-Y decline-- still something of an improvement from the -2.9% Y-o-Y drop in sales seen on fiscal Q3.

Revenues show 3.5% Y-o-Y growth through positive performance in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The retailer also points out "strong" 13% Y-o-Y growth for online sales driven by an increase in click and collect.

Darty France sees sales dropping by -0.7% Y-o-Y, while the combined the Belgian Vanden Borren and Dutch BCC operations report flat Y-o-Y sales. The retailer increased the number of BCC outlets to 75, following the February 2015 acquisition and rebranding of 18 stores from HiM Retail.

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Media-Saturn Drives Metro H1

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Media-Saturn Drives Metro H1

Media-Saturn sees positive results during both fiscal Q2 2014/15 and H1 2014/15, making it a bright spot for owners Metro Group, whose overall H1 earnings are down from €541 million in the previous year to €243 million.

On the other hand Media-Saturn sees H1 sales rise by 4.8% Y-o-Y to €12 billion while Q2 sales are up by 5.7% Y-o-Y, with positive results across all regions. The retailer attributes such results to the "rigorous" expansion of multi-channel business, particularly online efforts.

As such, online accounts for around 8% of total Media-Saturn sales, as Q2 sales grow by over 20% Y-o-Y to €0.4bn across Mediamarkt.de, Saturn.de and eBay-based web shops.

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Dixons Offloads The Phone House Netherlands

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Dixons Offloads The Phone House Netherlands

Dixons Carphone disposes of a majority 83% stake in The Phone House Netherlands as it sells it off to Relevant Holdings, a company formed by the shareholders of Dutch telco and mobile services retailer Optie1.

Relevant Holdings operates 70 Optie1 stores, together with 145 Phone House stores obtained through the deal. Meanwhile Dixons Carphone retains a minority stake, and will provide customers with insurance and technical support.

“I am delighted to announce this partnership for Phone House Netherlands, alongside a long-term contract for the provision of insurance and technical support services, through our Connected World Services division," Dixons Carphone CEO Sebastian James says. "Optie1 is an experienced telecom and retail company, making it the perfect partner in this market."

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Kellerhals Objects Media-Saturn Flash Sales Site Buy

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Kellerhals Objects Media-Saturn Flash Sales Site Buy

Media-Saturn buys iBOOD.com, the Amsterdam-based online flash sales site, as part of a move further expand into online retail-- but Media-Saturn founder and minority owner Erich Kellerhals objects to the acquisition.

According to the Grand Old Man the 15 April Media-Saturn shareholders meeting did not actually approve of the iBOOD buy, meaning the retailer's management bought the company "at its own risk." In fact, Kellerhals has already objected to a similar deal several years ago.

On the other hand Metro dismisses the objection, saying "all necessary internal coordination and approval procedures had been adhered to."

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Dixons Sells The Phone House Deutschland

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Dixons Sells The Phone House Deutschland

Dixons Carphone manages to sell off The Phone House Deutschland to mobile network provider Drillisch AB, following a "significant" restructuring for the German business.

Once the deal is finalised (by end May 2015, the retailer says) Dixons Carphone will receive 3% of Drililisch in shares by way of payment, with potential further deferred payments from future excess cash flows.

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Dell Exec to Run RadioShack

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Dell Exec to Run RadioShack

Former Dell executive Ron Garriques is the man chosen by hedge fund Standard General to run RadioShack, following the stepping down of Joe Magnacca after 2 years as CEO.

Garriques used to be lead the Dell communications and consumer divisions, and previously held positions at Motorola and Bell Labs. His appointment comes court approval of the Standard General plan to save 1740 Radioshack stores (from a total of over 4000) through a co-branding deal with US mobile provider Sprint.

“We plan to prove the skeptics and the people who wanted to shut this company down wrong,”  Standard General managing partner Soo Kim says. “We are committing the resources needed for the long haul.”

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RadioShack Gets Sprint Co-Branding

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RadioShack Gets Sprint Co-Branding

Delaware bankruptcy court approves a plan to save the RadioShack business via co-branding "most" of its surviving 1740 stores with US mobile provider Sprint, Reuters reports, following 4 days of court hearings.

The 1740 stores are what remain of the over 4000 outlets owned by the venerable 94-year old retailer, before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in February 2015. According to Reuters the rescued stores will carry both RadioShack and Sprint names, with Sprint occupying around 30% of store floorspace to sell mobile devices and wireless plans.

The deal also saves 7500 RadioShack jobs out of a total of 27000.

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EU Probes into Online Commerce

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EU Probes into Online Commerce

European Commission regulators are investigating e-commerce as part of an effort to remove barriers to shoppers wanting to use websites outside their countries within the EU.

“I can go to Italy and buy a pair of shoes but I am unable to do that from my home,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says. “If I try to buy on the website I may be redirected."

As part of the investigation EC staff raided a number of European online CE retailers on suspicion of "illegal behavior," including the Media-Saturn-owned RedCoon, following on December 2013 raids on Philips, Samsung and Media-Saturn. The EC is also looking into the "geo-blocking" of online videogame sales.

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